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Milwaukee M12 Drill Review

By Mckinley Corbley

If you're installing grand Piano Life Saver systems, you're probably maneuvering some pretty tight spaces underneath the piano. It may not be the most comfortable job in the world, but having the right tools for the job certainly makes it easier.

The Milwaukee M12 right-angle cordless drill is a game-changer for your installation jobs. While most drills measure around 6 inches in length from the back to the drill bit tip, the M12 slims down to just 4 inches, making it ideal for hard-to-reach places.

Although other cordless right-angle drills are similar in price and size, I have found that I prefer the Milwaukee for a few reasons.

For starters, it's a little more than half a pound lighter than its competitors. I'm a 27-year-old woman with respectable arm strength, but I have small hands, so the lighter weight is much more comfortable for me to use, especially over the course of an hour-long humidity system installation.

It is also equipped with a keyless chuck so you can easily change out your bits while you're on the move.

Because I loathe feeling unprepared for any job (whether at home or for work), I bought two battery packs, the charger, and a 50-piece bit kit in addition to the tool itself. The kit comes with magnetic drill bits which are worth their weight in gold (lord knows how many minutes of my life I've spent searching for screws that escaped from underneath my screwdriver.) With two battery packs on deck, I never have to worry about running out of juice halfway through a job.

That all being said, I installed my first Piano Life Saver system on a Steinway B the other day, and the beam structure proved to be too narrow even for my beloved M12. Thankfully, my colleague (thanks Noah Tofte!) had his mini ratchet wrench set on hand to finish the job.

Since it only measures 4 inches in length, it might not be ideal for the bigger-handed technician, but I like how its compact size makes it extra portable. Plus, a tool and driver set retails for between $15 to $30 depending on how many pieces are in the kit.

His mini ratchet wrench set came in handy a second time this month when I was bedding the keyframe of a Baldwin concert grand with glide bolt screws that were practically buried in between the keys. Not even my stubbiest screw driver could reach the bolt screws inside the piano without hitting the keys.

I have since purchased one of my own so I never have to worry about being thwarted by those tight spaces ever again!

Purchase Links:

Big thanks to Sean Cunningham of Cunningham Piano Services for introducing me to Grand Damp-Chaser installations and recommending the M12!

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